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Eric Schmidt Out, Larry Page In As Google CEO 185

Posted by timothy
from the as-if-you-care dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Google surprised just about everybody at its earnings call by announcing that Eric Schmidt, who had served as company CEO for more than a decade, would be stepping down and that cofounder Larry Page would take over. Schmidt will stay on as chairman and provide 'technology thought leadership,' whatever that is. When Schmidt, an old Sun hand, joined Google in 2001, it was seen as a move to turn the scrappy upstart into a mature company; now on his Twitter feed Schmidt proclaims that his 'adult supervision' is no longer needed."
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Eric Schmidt Out, Larry Page In As Google CEO

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  • by teh31337one (1590023) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:46PM (#34945902)
    Schmidt Happens
    • The trend is clear [google.com].
    • by syousef (465911)

      Schmidt Happens

      It's just another Page in amongst the ranks of Google's history.

    • by goombah99 (560566)

      I expectorated you'd say that. Tough Schmidt, the Page has turned.

      I hear that after the success of The Social Network, they are making a movie about Google called "Crazy Larry and Dirty Brin".

    • by jo42 (227475)

      Schmidt Happens

      You're so clever! Maybe Google should offer you a job...

      • meh. Was thinking of applying for an internship over the summer, but going to develop some apps instead.
  • by kenrblan (1388237) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:48PM (#34945926)
    I briefly confused Larry Page with Larry Ellison. Whew. That would be terrible.
  • Not unforeseen (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:48PM (#34945928)

    With all the bad press from stupid shit that Schmidt has said in recent years, this isn't exactly an unforeseen turn of events. If Larry Page has been thumbing his nose at the world at large with his blatantly anti-privacy statements, he's been much more quiet about it, as I haven't heard anything to make me automatically suspicious of him.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Red Flayer (890720)

      I haven't heard anything to make me automatically suspicious of him.

      How about, "I work for Google, where your private information is our business."

      I mean, he didn't say it... but he didn't have to. It goes without saying.

    • by microbee (682094)

      Really? Then how come Dick Cheney didn't replace George Bush as the president?

      Oh wait, maybe he did, just without the title.

    • I haven't heard anything to make me automatically suspicious of him.

      I have but let's see how it goes.

  • yeah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ryanrule (1657199)
    startup : "dont be evil" :: mature corp : "x" solve for x
  • by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:55PM (#34946044)

    He says he doesn't need "adult supervision" anymore? Well the child is the worst to judge these things.

    If Schmidt is such a good CEO, why change the setup? Page just thinks he'd be a better CEO because it is human nature to believe such things. I think this is an ego driven move and it could turn out very badly. At least they are keeping Schmidt on in a high level role.

    • by iammani (1392285)

      Nope, this the end of the beginning and the beginning of the new beginning.

    • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:07PM (#34946202) Homepage

      Perhaps because Google has been playing catch-up for too long, and Schmidt's strategy has been too caution, too safe, too corporate. There have been a lot of failures and disappointments coming out of the Googleplex recently, and Google needs to recover some of the optimism and energy of its earlier years. Morale is rather low; a lot of their best researchers have left. The "always in beta" aspect doesn't work anymore, because it contradicts their "the cloud is ready for primetime" narrative.

      A big change was needed. I'm just surprised they did it.

    • by alvinrod (889928) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:17PM (#34946316)
      The probably dropped him as CEO because he just comes off as creepy and not giving a damn about privacy; and this from the CEO of a company that's collecting information about everything and everyone. His insights and abilities are probably appreciated, but when he's in front of a camera he ends up saying something stupid that makes Google look evil. Here's an example from the WSJ. [wsj.com] Here's another from the Atlantic. [theatlantic.com] The crap he says makes him sound like someone who's Google's enemy and trying to scaremonger the public.
      • The probably dropped him as CEO because he just comes off as creepy and not giving a damn about privacy

        I suspect that if that was the motivation, they wouldn't be keeping him as "executive chairman" with principal responsibility for most of the non-technical aspects of leading the company, including customer relations.

        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          Yes, if somebody is succesfully leading a company but isn't good with public appearances, the LAST thing you want to do is put him in a position where he can lead the company but not appear in public...

    • by farnsworth (558449) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:24PM (#34946384)

      He says he doesn't need "adult supervision" anymore? Well the child is the worst to judge these things.

      No, it is Eric Schmidt who said "Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!" It should be taken as "The founders no longer need an experienced management guy to run their company. They have matured over the last few years, and I think they'll do fine on their own."

      • by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:45PM (#34946614) Journal
        Offtopic, I know, but re: your sig:

        There aint no pancake so thin it doesn't have two sides.

        Obviously you have not had the pleasure of eating a Möbius pancake. Once you can figure out where the butter and syrup go, they are delicious.

        • Obviously you have not had the pleasure of eating a Möbius pancake. Once you can figure out where the butter and syrup go, they are delicious.

          You order them on the side, of course!

          Oh wait, you make them yourself?

        • by chudnall (514856)

          Obviously you have not had the pleasure of eating a Möbius pancake.

          Damn you. Now I will not rest until I have figured out how to make a Möbius pancake.

    • If Schmidt is such a good CEO, why change the setup?

      Per the release, its about streamlining; the Page-Brin-Schmidt triumvirate has been essentially co-leading the company, and will continue to do so on major decisions, but on a day-to-day basis Page will focus on "product development and technology strategy", Schmidt will focus on "on the deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership", and Brin will focus on "strategic projects, in particular working on new products."

      • Per the release, its about streamlining

        Sounds like bafflegab to me. The only thing clear is: Larry to the front, Sergey and Eric to the back. I'm just wondering if this will go further. Scuse me Larry, just saying what everyone's thinking.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:58PM (#34946754) Journal
      JWZ wrote that the beginning of the end of Netscape was when they stopped hiring people who were there because they wanted to change the world, and started hiring people who were there because they thought it was a cool place to work. I've visited Google offices a few times in the last couple of years, and everyone I've asked has told me that they're there because it's a cool place to work...
      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @08:17PM (#34946948)

        I interviewed there a few times (separate occasions). it IS a cool place TO BE. to work? not sure, but certainly VERY comfortable to BE.

        I am quite sure its why most people are there. that and they can turn a blind eye to the fact that they are the power behind 'ad[vertising] men'. yup, just a newfangled advertising company. but its VERY cool to be on that campus, eat free lunches (gourmet, really), collect free cool phones and toys and have super company name recognition.

        but how many *believe* in what they do, or the ulterior motives of the megacorp? do they realize that they help the Big Co eat away our privacy? they look the other way and plan what they'll have for lunch.

        easy to understand if you've been there or even been around it.

        but again, few who see what the company is really about would be behind it. if it wasn't such a comfy status-clad place, few would want to contribute to what google is actually about.

        (data collection on you and targeted advertising. you think that's all noble lofty stuff? really?)

        • its VERY cool to be on that campus, eat free lunches (gourmet, really), collect free cool phones and toys and have super company name recognition.

          The blush can come off it. For example, one of the benefits was $150 of free stuff from the company store, whatever you want. Thing was, all the cool stuff was always gone when you tried to get it, and certain people who figured out how to get in right when the new stuff showed up had mountains of it hoarded on their desks. There's an awful, awful lot of that sort of gaming going on all the time and it does get to you, unless you're too oblivious to notice. Perhaps the latter being a good survival quali

          • by mwvdlee (775178)

            Being oblivious to office politics may just be a good criteria for hiring technical people.

      • by tehcyder (746570)
        Why would working for either Netscape then or Google now lead you to believe you were ever going to change the world?

        All they've done between them is fuck up the internet and turn it into a giant shopping complex.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Except that the guy saying that is the "adult" who was giving the supervision and hence is hopefully the best judge of these things.

    • You are obviously not married..

    • Can we turn safesearch off now?

  • by BitterKraut (820348) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:59PM (#34946088)
    I don't see how this could be a smart move for Google. Page and Brin may have become too big for their boots, but I suspect something else. Perhaps Schmidt will follow Steve Jobs to lead Apple.
    • by Stregano (1285764)
      Same great iSeries of products, now with less black turtlenecks
    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:41PM (#34946556)

      I don't see how this could be a smart move for Google. Page and Brin may have become too big for their boots, but I suspect something else.

      The official explanation seems plausible: its streamlining operations and clarifying roles and responsibilities in an organization where three people have been functionally working together as co-leaders (and, in a sense, will continue to do so.)

      Perhaps Schmidt will follow Steve Jobs to lead Apple.

      Staying on as "executive chairman" without being CEO and still keeping primary responsibility for most of the "business" (non-technical) operations suggest that that's not all that likely.

  • by should_be_linear (779431) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:05PM (#34946182)
    Hours after suspension of adult supervision, new CEO Larry Page gave Android Platform to Apple in exchange for remote controlled car and a two video games.
  • by schwit1 (797399) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:11PM (#34946242)

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/google-mocked/ [wired.com]

    "If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

    "I think that over time, on the internet, there will be less anonymity. And I actually think that's good"

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @08:58PM (#34947224)

      http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/google-mocked/ [wired.com]

      "If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

      What's more interesting is the next piece:

      But if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines, including Google, do retain this information for some time. And [...] we're all subject, in the US, to the Patriot Act, and it is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities.

      Schmidt is telling us that Google is being served PATRIOT Act notices without breaking the law and telling us that they're being served. It's a pity everyone is hung up on the nothing-to-hide idiocy. Of course, it's little wonder we're missing the important pieces when served up ham-fisted attacks by the likes of Consumer Watchdog.

      • by martin-boundary (547041) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @09:34PM (#34947542)

        It's a pity everyone is hung up on the nothing-to-hide idiocy.

        The reason everyone is hung up on that "idiocy" is that Schmidt is a hypocrit.

        It's all right for him to tell others that they should kiss their privacy goodbye, but when his own privacy is breached in the same way, he doesn't think twice about retaliating with all of google's resources [cnn.com].

        Moreover, it's a bit rich for the CEO of a search company to claim that privacy can't be respected by search engines, when he's making the rules as CEO. Corruption starts from the top, and he's responsible for a lot of bad choices Google has made towards privacy in the past and present, and that "idiocy" tidbit sums up his actions pretty well.

    • by EriDay (679359)
      This is Google jettisoning a little bit of their evil.
  • I'm rich enough now and don't feel like working.

    • by rsborg (111459) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:39PM (#34946536) Homepage

      I'm sure Schmidt was comfortably rich after being the CTO of Sun and the CEO of Novell.

      Guys like him don't do it for the (extra) money, but because they want to be/do something important.

      • I agree Schmidt's decision to lead Google probably wasn't about money, more likely a desire to leave a mark, change the world, beat the competition, ... The reasons could be many, but as far as money goes he could have retired after Novell and lived out a nice comfortable life.

        My hunch is that both Sun and Novell left Schmidt with a bad taste in his mouth. At both companies he had his ass handed to him by Microsoft. He can retire from day-to-day life at Google with satisfaction knowing that he's successf

    • I'm rich enough now and don't feel like working.

      Right. Which is why he is staying on as "executive chairman" and retaining day-to-day responsibility for most of the business operations.

  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:32PM (#34946468)
    Schmidt: " Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!"

    Page: "Zing!"

  • by rsborg (111459) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:40PM (#34946550) Homepage

    DuckDuckGo [duckduckgo.com] :-)

  • Sell GOOG (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BulletMagnet (600525) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @08:59PM (#34947236)
    Hmmmm....Maybe Schmidt sees the handwriting on the wall, like he did with the last employer he left....
  • In the immortal words of Fake Steve Jobs:

    Ever read a book called “What Makes Sammy Run?” about the world’s biggest scumbag, a Hollywood schemer named Sammy Glick? Well, Sammy Glick had nothing on Eric Schmidt. I’m still kind of stunned because the guy just called me to talk about Nexus One and he’s acting like there’s no problem. Or maybe he knows there’s a problem and he’s just calling to see what I’ll say, like he’s daring me to call him on out o

  • Ten years is a long time for a Fortune 500 CEO. The average is about 6.5 years.

  • by Super Dave Osbourne (688888) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @11:19PM (#34948284)
    he brought in a very unethical and overtly authoritarian leadership to what could have been a very 'don't do evil' company with great potential and shaped it to be the latest extension of the NSA for the US governmint/CIA. Its sad, but its true.
  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Friday January 21, 2011 @11:46AM (#34953360)

    I really want to know.

    I see all kinds of posts screaming, and crying, about having their privacy invaded by google. I am bewildered. What has actually happened to these people? Are they just parroting the Microsoft propanganda, or has google really hurt these people?

    If you are complaining about google invading your privacy, then please tell us, anonymously if you like, exactly how google hurt you personally. Don't just echo the anti-google slogans, tell us exactly how google hurt you.

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